|October 1, 2012 Fifth Session
U.S. Secretary of State
U.S. Secretary of Defense
U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Today, despite the protests from the citizens of Okinawa Prefecture, the MV-22 Osprey aircraft were deployed to US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
In Okinawa, a Resolution of Protest was adopted by the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly and at all 41 municipal assemblies throughout the prefecture, united in our opposition to the MV-22 Osprey deployment to the prefecture. Furthermore, on September 9, 2012, over 103,000 people gathered to participate in The Okinawa Prefectural Citizens’ Rally against the Osprey Deployment, where a resolution was adopted calling for the immediate withdrawal of the Osprey deployment plan and for the closure and removal of MCAS Futenma. To bring our intensions to realization, we have been calling on relevant ministries and agencies and also addressing this issue through protest rallies and gatherings at the gates of MCAS Futenma.
Amidst this, both governments of Japan and the United States announced their official agreement on the safety confirmations which were concluded and declared at the Japan-US Joint Committee on September 19, 2012.
However, this declaration includes conditional language such as, “as practical,” and “as much as possible,” which makes military operations by the US Forces possible based on their discretion, and the details of the memorandum can hardly be said that the safety of the aircraft has been entirely ensured.
The deployment of the Osprey will implement plans for training and exercises as well as readiness operations not only at MCAS Futenma but all throughout the main island of Okinawa and the surrounding islands. This will increase the number of late-night and early-morning flights by 204 times a year. Moreover, residents from various areas are voicing their concerns and indignation over noise, environmental, and other such issues, and also fear over possible crashes. This is in response to the irresponsible determination that the past crashes were due to human factors and that the aircraft themselves have no problems.
I f the Osprey, which does not have auto-rotation capabilities, were to fall and crash in an urban area, who will be responsible and what can be done to take responsibility over such an incident? The ways in which both governments of Japan and the United States have continued to ignore the voices of the citizens of Okinawa is flagrant and is unacceptable by any measure.
To that end, we, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, in our duty to protect the lives, safety and the living environment of the citizens of Okinawa, strongly protest against the deployment of the Osprey to the prefecture. Furthermore, we firmly oppose the MCAS Futenma in becoming a permanent fixture; demand all of the Osprey aircraft to be withdrawn; and call for the closure and removal of MCAS Futenma.
The above is resolved as stated on this 1st day of October, 2012.
Okinawa Prefectural Assembly